Are Modeling Conventions Worth the Expense?
Modeling conventions can be a great way for aspiring models to gain exposure and get discovered. These major events act as common meeting grounds for agencies, scouts, casting directors and models, and typically happen in large cities where everyone can gather conveniently. They’re a fun and eye-opening way for models-to-be to learn the ins and outs of the business and get noticed by top industry professionals.
What Happens at a Modeling Convention
Every modeling convention is different of course, but a basic schedule includes things like:
- Workshops, seminars, and guest speakers - Models learn tips, tricks, and insider info from professionals who currently work in the industry.
- Competitions - Models compete in a variety of events, such as runway, fashion print, commercial print, and swimwear.
- Meetings - Models have the chance to individually meet with agents, scouts, and casting directors. This is your chance to impress them!
- Callbacks - If an agency, scout, or casting director is interested in meeting with you again, they’ll call your number and invite you to a callback. Some models will get a single callback, some will get several, and some will get none. Even if you aren’t signed, though, you’ll walk away with new skills and terrific industry connections!
In the United States and Canada, there are a couple of modeling conventions worth checking out.
IMTA - Los Angeles and New York
Hosted by the International Modeling & Talent Association (IMTA), these eight- to ten-day conventions attract modeling agents, personal managers, and casting directors from around the globe. Models will have the opportunity to compete and show off their look, style, walk, and potential to industry professionals who are solely there to scout new talent.
IMTA conventions are closed conventions, which means that you can only attend through a registered modeling agency or modeling school.
Faces West - Vancouver
This Canadian convention is a smaller, more intimate event. It still attracts the world’s top agents and scouts, but opens its doors to a limited number of pre-screened participants, thereby improving your opportunity to be seen by, and spend time with, international agents and scouts. The convention offers a wide array of unique workshops and seminars and gives models and talent the chance to learn, network, show off their skills, and encounter top industry professionals.
Faces West, now in its 21st year, is popular with aspiring models from both Canada and the US. In case you didn’t know, top supermodel Coco Rocha was discovered by an agent and Faces West founder Charles Stuart!
Generally, yes. Some conventions, such as IMTA, can easily cost $5000 - $10,000.00 to attend depending on the agency or school that you are working with. That fee doesn’t include traveling to and from the convention, but typically includes pre-convention training, headshots, hotel, and registration fees.
The Faces West modeling convention, held in Vancouver, is one of the most affordable options. It’s about a third of the price of other modeling conventions but with all the perks, including top agents and scouts from around the world.
If You Can't Afford It
Modeling conventions are a major investment and are out of reach for most aspiring models. But that doesn’t mean you can't be seen by top agents and scouts!
ModelScouts.com, one of the most respected scouting companies in the world, is a great online resource of agents and scouts. It’s affordable for everyone (around a hundred bucks), and your photos are guaranteed to be seen by scouts for all the same modeling agencies that attend the conventions.